May 17, 2013
On March 1, 2013, the SUNY Potsdam President’s Council appointed members to the Greek Life Task Force to investigate two specific questions:
Following a comprehensive review, the Greek Life Task Force presented its findings related to the first question to the President’s Council. The Task force recommended that Greek letter organizations continue at SUNY Potsdam, under the condition that significant reforms be implemented.
The President’s Council accepted this recommendation, and asked the task force to continue its study and work on the second question related to clearly defining what critical and enduring reforms are needed.
After consulting with the campus community, surveying faculty and staff, speaking with Greek students and alumni, holding two open forums, interviewing civic officials and investigating trends in national higher education, the task force affirmed that Greek Life has value as part of the SUNY Potsdam tradition.
However, the task force also acknowledged the disturbing trend of hazing and underage drinking violations among some organizations, and the underlying challenges and risks associated with these issues. The College, in partnership with each organization and its alumni, has difficult work ahead in order to foster positive changes that keep Greek Life consistent with the College Mission and the Potsdam Pledge.
The Greek Life Task Force will spend the summer and the Fall 2013 semester studying how Greek organizations can best clarify and adhere to a role that is consistent with the core values of both SUNY Potsdam and the Greek community, and how the College and alumni can best support chapters in their service to students and the community. Input from students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members will be essential to finding solutions that can work for Potsdam.
I would like to thank Dr. Hersker and the 10 other dedicated members of the task force for their diligence in studying this important issue.
If you have any feedback or questions about the task force’s recommendation, please email GreekTaskForce@potsdam.edu.